Born into a service-oriented family with strong roots in pediatric cardiology, China Opland knew from a young age that her path would focus on giving. Her maternal grandmother Francine Leca, the first female cardiac surgeon in France, founded Mécénat Chirurgerie Cardiaque in 1996 – an organization well known throughout the world for providing free heart surgery to children in need.
At the age of 12, Opland suffered a loss that would inspire and motivate her. Confronted by the death of a close family friend whom she considered a brother, “I did some soul searching,” said Opland. The experience opened her up to understanding what life is about and the pursuit of spirituality.
As an adult, Opland traveled the world – devoting herself to studying yoga in India, sound healing in Bali, and obtained a degree in religious studies. “Spirituality touches your soul,” said Opland. She also spent time teaching English to children and then decided to return to the U.S. to pursue a nursing degree.
After researching programs, she chose CU because of its affiliation with Children’s Hospital and its strong research background. “I applied to CU and was notified that I was accepted on the anniversary of my brother’s death. It seemed meant to be.” Moving from her home in Miami to Colorado, she and her boyfriend love it here and are here to stay.